Egypt’s Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) and Visa teamed up over the holidays to release a business skills EdTech platform for Egyptians. The platform is free to use, and it’s set to benefit SMBs (Small and Micro Business) owners in running and growing their operations. The platform will be loaded up with lots of free educational resources that cover a wide range of topics, from finance to business and marketing.
The partnership between ITIDA and Visa isn’t limited to this platform only. In fact, it’s only a part of a wider-scope collaboration that seeks to support Egyptian fintech start-ups and entrepreneurs. For instance, there’s the ITIDIA-Visa Mentorship Programme that aims to support top Egyptian fintech startups for one year with a well-rounded package of services and benefits.
According to Malak El Baba, Country Manager for Visa, Egypt, SMBs are the backbone of the Egyptian economy, which is why supplying them with the skills, knowledge, and service accessibility is essential for starting or rebuilding their businesses. The website, Practice Business Skills, will be available in Arabic and English, and it’s set to be launched over five stages. At every stage, there will be four virtual training sessions that allow Egyptian entrepreneurs and business owners to learn from industry experts. These training sessions started mid-December, and they’re expected to continue for the next few months.
The platform is based on Visa’s cemented position as a global leader in financial education. The website’s tools will definitely provide Egyptian entrepreneurs with the tools they need to start and grow their businesses. It’s set to encompass more than 50 modules that cover the business life cycle steps that include starting, managing, building, and growing the business. “One of our mandates is to build the capacities of the Egyptian ICT companies and support small businesses and technology startups to help them grow and further become globally competitive,” said Amr Mahfouz, CEO of ITIDA.
Egypt’s EdTech platforms are pretty limited. It’s quite hard to come across a free high-quality resource of online learning. Most students, entrepreneurs, and people interested in learning new things usually opt for international platforms to satisfy their learning needs. These platforms often charge premium which is unaffordable for a majority of Egyptians. This gap in accessing education grew into a chasm because not all students have resources. Not just when it comes to devices, but with parental coaching and connectivity.
The only EdTech startup that has showcased excellent potential is Noon Academy, which is based in Saudi Arabia and Egypt and primarily targets students. The Research Institute of America states that eLearning increases retention rates by 25 to 60 percent. eLearning is extremely scalable, bringing some of the best teachers to the fore where they reach more students than an average brick-and-mortar classroom.
No wonder this industry is expected to exceed $1 trillion by 2027.
However, after the COVID-19 pandemic started, interest in investing in EdTech resources in Egypt has increased exponentially. Business owners, students, and researchers no longer seek class-based learning exclusively. Not when their business needs can be met through platforms such as Practice Business Skills.